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Nation loses allies in European Parliament

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The nation's prospects in the international theater may be affected by the European parliamentary elections that concluded yesterday, with one of Taiwan's staunchest allies in Europe unable to secure enough votes to retain his seat as part of the sweeping changes to the membership roster following poll results.

According to reports, Graham Watson was not reelected to retain his post as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) of South West England. Widely regarded as Taiwan's staunchest supporter in the European Parliament, his absence will be a great loss for Taiwan, according to political commentators.

During his time as the Chairman of the EU parliament's Taiwan Friendship Group and the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Watson had pushed for state visits and dialogue between high ranking Taiwanese and EU officials.

Meanwhile, reports had confirmed that other pro-Taiwan MEPs including Charles Tannock of London and Hans van Baalen of the Netherlands will retain their posts for another five-year term.

According to reports, Taiwan's list of friends and allies in the EU parliament had been slashed by half following the recent election as some MEPs are retiring from the parliament, while some were unable to secure a reelection.

Political commentators stated that the recent parliamentary reshuffle represents a dire need for Taiwan to reestablish a network of friendly allies.

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